Prohibition Compare and Constrast Essay

This essay has a total of 1261 words and 6 pages.


Prohibition, "The Noble Experiment," was a great and genius idea on paper, but did not go
as planned. With illegal activities still increasing and bootlegging at its all time high,
it was no wonder the idea crumbled. Could they have revised the law to make it more
effective? If so, would the law be in place today, and how would that have changed our
lives today? Although it was brief, Prohibition will remain a huge part of America's
history. Completely illegalizing the production and consumption of alcohol was a great
plan that ended up being a great failure.

Prohibition, under the Eighteenth Amendment was the Governments idea of illegalizing the
consumption, production, and transportation of intoxicating liquors. Ratified on January
16, 1919, many states accepted the idea and it became part of the American Constitution
and took effect exactly one year later. At first, many people supported the idea and felt
that prohibition would greatly increase the average American's quality of life. They also
saw an increase in crime and felt that Prohibition would help to make those numbers fall
and work out some of the social problems of the 20's. Although supporters were always
around, many American's were angry and appalled by the law. Saloons and liquor was a big
part of many peoples life and only a handful of them were willing to give it up. With this
brought many problems that prohibition was thought to fix.

Consumption of alcohol fell at the start of Prohibition, but rose significantly shortly
after. It is also believed that the removal of alcohol had many people switching to
cocaine, heroin and other dangerous drugs. Prohibition clearly brought along the biggest
disrespect of the law the country has ever seen. Never before had there been so many law
abiding citizens, now braking the law on a regular basis. "Speakeasies," illegal bars
where people would come to socialize, dance and buy both imported and homemade alcohol
also became very popular. As Jello Biafa said, "For every Prohibition you create, you also
create an underground."

Supplying these speakeasies with liquor became a huge and profitable business in its own
right and helped open the door for many large criminal families and organizations. Al
Capone, one of the most notorious crime bosses of all time, made unbelievable amounts of
money in the industry-over sixty million untaxed dollars-while the average American worker
made less then $1000 a year during this period. With new and large quantities of weapons
coming back from the war-and such enormous amounts of money to be made, it was no surprise
that the bootlegging industry soon became extremely competitive and very violent.
Prohibition was supposed to lower crime and the consumption of intoxicating liquor, but
instead did the exact opposite.

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition
law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land
than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous
increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this," Albert Einstein.
(Internet, quotes on Prohibition, page 1)

Prohibition not only failed to prevent the consumption of intoxicating liquor, but also
led to extensive production of unregulated, untaxed and very harmful alcohol. With more
violence, political corruption and the creation of organized crime, the amendment was
finally overturned when Utah, the thirty-sixth state needed to ratify the 21st amendment
came forward and agreed on December 5, 1933. Amazingly, many people today still believe
Prohibition was a success. With so much corruption and depravity, failure seemed
inevitable, but how would history and the present have differed if the law were never

Nationally, over 534,000 people sustain injuries from alcohol related collisions a year,
which adds up to be about one a minute. Around 16,000 die annually, about 1 every thirty
minutes, due to drunk driving. (Internet, Drunk Driving Facts, Page 1). Statistics like
this always come to mind when talking about alcohol. Would statistics like this be so
alarming if we still had Prohibition? Would they be even worse? Since alcohol was not sold
locally, many people during this time had to travel to get liquor, therefore, drunk
driving was popular then and may have been worse than the present.

Alcohol related deaths are not only on the roads. With alcohol rampid on college campuses
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